In early life and around weaning, pigs are at risk of developing infectious diseases which compromise animal welfare and have major economic consequences for the pig industry. A promising strategy to enhance resistance against infectious diseases is immunomodulation by feed additives. To assess the immune stimulating potential of feed additives in vitro, bone marrow-derived dendritic cells were used. These cells play a central role in the innate and adaptive immune system and are the first cells encountered by antigens that pass the epithelial barrier. Two different feed additives were tested on dendritic cells cultured from fresh and cryopreserved bone marrow cells; a widely used commercial feed additive based on yeast-derived β-glucans and the gram-negative probiotic strain E. coli Nissle 1917. E. coli Nissle 1917, but not β-glucans, induced a dose-dependent upregulation of the cell maturation marker CD80/86, whereas both feed additives induced a dose-dependent production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, including TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10. Furthermore, E. coli Nissle 1917 consistently induced higher levels of cytokine production than β-glucans. These immunomodulatory responses could be assessed by fresh as well as cryopreserved in vitro cultured porcine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that both β-glucans and E. coli Nissle 1917 are able to enhance dendritic cell maturation, but in a differential manner. A more mature dendritic cell phenotype could contribute to a more efficient response to infections. Moreover, both fresh and cryopreserved bone marrow-derived dendritic cells can be used as in vitro pre-screening tools which enable an evidence based prediction of the potential immune stimulating effects of different feed additives.